Andalusian president announces stricter face mask regulations from next week

Juanma Moreno on Saturday with the president of Ceuta, Juan Jesús Vivas.
Juanma Moreno on Saturday with the president of Ceuta, Juan Jesús Vivas. / SUR
  • A new ruling expected to be approved on Monday will make masks mandatory in all public spaces, even where social distancing is possible

  • Fines will be imposed, says regional Health Minister

The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, has announced his intention of making the use of face masks compulsory in all public places in the region. The move comes as a preventative measure in the light of the local outbreaks of Covid-19 registered over the last few days.

During a visit to Ceuta on Saturday, Moreno said that the measure would be considered on Monday at the meeting of medical experts who advise the regional authority on coronavirus policies.

The use of face coverings is currently regulated by the national government decree that makes masks compulsory wherever a distance of a metre and a half from other people is impossible to maintain.

The new Andalusian ruling would mean that masks must be worn in all public spaces, regardless of whether this distance can be observed.

Moreno said he had already discussed the option of making masks compulsory with the regional Health Minister, Jesús Aguirre, who said on Monday that fines would be imposed for not wearing one.

The recent cases, he said, "are significant but fortunately controlled and limited thanks to our excellent health services".

He said that the use of a mask can be "positive" to avoid possible infection, despite the fall in cases of Covid-19 in Andalucía. He insisted that precaution must be taken and called for individual responsibility.

It was only normal, said Moreno, for there to be new cases in Andalucía as this is the most populated region of Spain, but he added that the situation was not as extreme as in other parts of the country, but "prevention is better than cure and that's why we're going to put forward the measure of making mask-wearing mandatory".

The regional governments in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Extremadura have already made similar moves to tighten the regulations on face masks.